Initially GE Link products required the Wink Hub to tie them all together, but since they came out the Wink Relay and Link Hub have come to the market, making it ever easier to get your lights and house connected. The Wink app is however still the default program used to setup and control your system.
The Link products make use of the Zigbee HA 1.2 protocol. While the Link hub is nice and small compared to the Wink products, it does only support the GE Link lightbulbs, whereas a Wink Hub or Wink Hub 2 will support a number of other products as well. The Link and Wink hubs are the only officially supported products, but it is possible that other ZigBee compatible hubs will connect to Link lightbulbs.
One concern is that after the initial setup, all communication between your phone and your hub takes place via the online Wink service. This means that should your internet go down, you may not be able to control your devices. Wink have made some steps to creating an offline mode for their products, but this does not extend to all their products or the Link device.GE Link only manufacture one product range which is a standard white light, however they have three different form factors depending on the light fixture you are fitting (A19, BR30 and PAR38). All of them come with a limited two-year warranty.
If you’re going to be buying GE Link light bulbs, we will recommend going with one of the Wink hubs instead of the Link hub, this way you are far more free to expand your smart home. A benefit of the Wink connection (regardless of hub) is that the Amazon Echo has a Wink app, which means you can control your lights by talking to Alexa.
While not officially supported by Samsung SmartThings, it should be possible to connect your GE Link bulbs to the a SmartThings Hub, and then control it via whatever service you desire.The average customer rating is slightly lower than the other products we’ve reviewed. The low prices makes it a favorite compared to it’s competition, but one must be very careful when selecting bulbs. The new light bulbs apparently have firmware that is incompatible with the GE Link hub and potentially the Wink hub too.
While this is an incredibly well-priced set of hardware, the concerns over backwards compatibility mean you must approach it with a generous portion of concern. It will suit many people, but others willing to pay a premium for a better product should rather take a look at GE’s competition.